If you don’t really know what the difference is between professional photo prints and the inkjet printers you can get at home, you are not alone. However, there is actually a huge difference between them. So much so, in fact, that you may as well get rid of that inkjet printer. The key difference lies in the paper processing. Paper used in professional prints is long lasting and high quality, and it uses silver halide and light exposure processing. Inkjet printers, by contrast, just print your pictures in color.

How Does it Work?

Photo printing is actually highly scientific. However, in a nutshell, it means that the paper is exposed to a laser light first. This then stimulates the paper’s chemicals to get covered in tiny diamond shapes. These shapes overlap. Under a microscope, this would look like thousands of diamonds being found all over the paper. Then, the paper is dipped in a warm RA4 chemical bath, which stimulates the colors and seals them. This has to be done in a darkroom, because the paper is sensitive to light.

Of course, darkrooms are also quickly becoming a thing of the past. Today, we have digital printing technology. But, even there, the key difference lies in the paper. The printing machines have new paper rolls at all times, which ensure consistent and high quality color quality. You simply cannot get that with an inkjet.

Why it Matters

When you process photographs on real and professional paper, you will create the highest quality images. Think about a wedding. It is common for disposable cameras to be placed on the tables of the guests for some fun images. However, those prints will never really make it to the official book. Those are created using professional processes, with the highest quality paper and procedures. You wouldn’t expect anything less for your wedding!

Professional paper is held in very high regard and for good reason. This paper is expensive, but that is because it has to go through a variety of different assessments that ensure the product is consistently superior. Paper manufacturers focus on post processing, reproduction, color, and more. Each of those elements are key things that make a picture beautiful.

How Long Does a Professional Picture Last?

If you have your pictures printed on truly professional paper, you can guarantee that they will last a century before even the slightest fade starts to appear. If stored in the dark, they can easily last 200 years, in fact. Simply put, there is no way for you to achieve the same fantastic quality and near-HD imagery, using anything other than professional printing, and certainly not through inkjet printing. Once you realize the quality difference is so big, you will probably never opt for inkjet printers or for cheap photo prints ever again. Remember that a photograph eternalizes a memory, so ask yourself whether that is how you want to be remembered 200 years from now, or whether you would much prefer a higher quality image.